President Joe Biden said he believes all members of the Los Angeles City Council who were involved in a recorded conversation in which some participants made racist remarks should resign, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
“The president is glad to see that one of the participants in that conversation has resigned, but he believes they all should resign,” Jean-Pierre said. “The language that was used and tolerated during that conversation was unacceptable and is appalling. He believes they should all step down.”
Leaked audio made public this week by The Los Angeles Times revealed the president of the Los Angeles City Council and two members making disparaging and racist remarks.
Council president Nury Martinez stepped down from her leadership role and is taking a leave of absence. Martinez was caught on tape making disparaging comments about the Black child of a white council member and calling Oaxacan immigrants living in the city’s Koreatown neighborhood “short little dark people.”
Ron Herrera, the city’s labor chief, resigned Tuesday. He was captured on the recording saying he was focused on getting his allies on the council re-elected, saying the group was “like a little Latino caucus of our own.”
The recording triggered outrage in Los Angeles, one of the most diverse cities in the country, with residents calling for other members of the council who were part of the recorded meeting to resign.
Biden will travel to Los Angeles later this week to deliver remarks on his agenda and attend a fundraiser.